The Kerala High Court has directed local bodies to constitute monitoring committees for animal birth control (ABC). This after an ABC surgery was performed in a ‘negligent manner’ at the Government Veterinary Hospital Thripunithura in Ernakulam.
The High Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by Ashwini Shanker, a resident of Ernakulam and also a founding member of Oneness Charitable Trust, a non-profit organisation that works in the field of rescue and rehabilitation of animals especially street dogs.
The PIL was filed in September after the activist was ‘aggrieved by the negligent and careless handling of the street dogs, in the guise of the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001’.
The petitioner and other members of the NGO rescued the dog that had a surgical cut on its scrotum and also had pus formation. It was found on enquiry that the dog was taken for ABC surgery but the surgeon failed to close the incision properly which resulted in the protrusion of intestine through abdominal walls.
The petition also said that the ABC (Dogs) Rules, 2001 articulate in detail the manner in which the entire ABC process has to be commenced and also about the personnel, who shall be involved in the matter.
“It's pertinent to note that the obligation of running the programme has been entrusted with local authority by ABC rules which further mandates the local authority to constitute a monitoring committee which specifies for people from seven different fields to be part of the team,” it points out.
Local authority could be municipal committee, district board or other authority. The functions of the committee, as per the rule, ranges from planning and management of the ABC program in accordance with the ABC rules, to issue instructions for catching, transportation, sheltering, sterilization, vaccination, treatment and release of sterilised vaccinated and treated dogs to create public awareness to get public notice of their activities by the announcements and advertisements.
It also speaks about the methods and procedures to be followed in capturing, sterilzation immunization and release of the dogs after the birth control surgery is performed on them.
It has been further stated in the petition that though the rules were enacted in 2001 even after the lapse of nineteen years, no monitoring committee has been constituted so far. The petition also states that the local authority which is supposed to enact the ABC rules have delegated the entire process to the Kudumbasree unit. And that the workers of the Kudumbashree unit have no expertise in doing the process.
“The disposal of the carcass of the dogs dying on the street pursuant to the negligent surgery conducted on them causes health hazards especially at a testing time (pandemic) like this,” it further says.
The petition sought to order or direct to constitute a monitoring committee for the municipality as per the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2011.